Sometimes it’s good to be a quitter
By Kelli Davis & Annette Benedetti
There’s no end to the list of things women should start doing for themselves as empowered feminists and womanists living in this day and age. From working on self-love to going on solo adventures to trying out new relationship styles, it’s easy to find articles that share helpful advice for women looking to put together a bucket list. But, there’s a different kind of list that all the ladies need to start working on: things they should never do again (or at all, if you haven’t already done them).
It’s no secret that women have historically been sold a whole bunch of bullshit about how they have to be in the world in order to be either “enough”, or “not too much”. We’ve been socialized to do and believe things about what it takes and means to be a “good woman”. As a result, many of us have done some, if not all, of the following things at some point in our lives. In fact, we may still be engaging in some of them.
So, the She Explores Life team (pretty much just Annette and Kelli) put our heads together and came up with a list that we thing will improve the lives of all women, should you challenge yourself to tackle. Here it is:
14 Things Women Should Never Do Again
Try to change your body to fit the “ideal body image.”
The body positive movement has come a long way. A quick stroll through your local Target reveals the difference it is making. Marketing photos are inclusive of all sizes and body types. Listen ladies, the idea of the “ideal body image” is outdated. If you want to get healthier or more active, go for it. But don’t let anyone (including you) tell you that your body isn’t perfect and perfectly lovable exactly the way it is.
Apologize when you don’t mean it.
You correct someone at work and begin with, “I’m sorry, but I noticed this error…”. You are not sorry, you don’t need to be sorry and you need to stop apologizing for being your amazing self. If you genuinely wrong someone, you most certainly should ask for forgiveness. But, be sure you aren’t giving up the power you deserve before the next time you throw out those two words.
Women need to stop asking permission to take the lead. Women need to stop asking permission to succeed. Women need to stop asking permission and start taking what they deserve and what they want at work, in the home, and in their intimate relationships.
Trying to save others.
We’ve been told that our natural role is that of the caregiver. This may be true for some women, but it isn’t for all women. And, whether or not you are a natural caregiver, it’s never your job to save someone else whether a friend, family member or lover. You can offer your support and be there for those who are working on saving themselves, but it’s not your job to be anyone else’s life raft.
Looking for happiness in someone else.
Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White: we were all raised on the same fairy tales and the idea that someone else would come along someday and make us feel complete. Lovers, friends, and partners can most certainly bring a whole lot of joy into your life, but you are the one responsible for your own happiness.
Say it with me!
I’ll take up as much space as I please! I am not, “too much!”
That’s right, you go right ahead and woman spread.
Stay in a job or relationship that makes you miserable.
You are living in abundance. Do not buy into the scarcity model, all of the things you want are waiting for you to make space for them.
Be satisfied with unsatisfying sex.
Women have been sexually shamed when it comes to their sex lives forever! You deserve to be having the best sex of your life right now, and there’s no reason to go without all of the orgasms you deserve. If things are disappointing in bed, take some time to discover what it is that really does it for you. Leave no fantasy unexplored. Like the kids used to say, “YOLO”!
Marry out of duty.
This may be shocking to some and a no-brainer to others. You don’t have to get married…ever. That’s right, you can have perfectly satisfying relationships without ever having someone “put a ring on it.” Women are exploring all types of relationship styles these days. You’ve got choices. Even if you do choose to marry someone, it should never be because you feel obligated or like there is no better option.
Dress your age.
One of the best mantras here at She Explores Life: Wear whatever the fuck you want, whenever the fuck you want.
Feel guilty for not wanting kids.
It’s not your job to have babies. That’s all.
Feel guilty for not wanting sex or have sex out of duty.
I am floored by the number of women who have confided to me that they force themselves to have sex with their partner when they don’t want to. Stop. Doing. That. Right. Now! Your body is yours! Nobody has a right to it. Nobody has the right to guilt you into giving it to them for pleasure.
Judging other women.
Help your sisters out. Offer advice when they ask for it. Someday you may be in their shoes, so don’t judge.
Compete with women for men.
Does this need an explanation?
Work to take away other women’s rights.
If you don’t want to have an abortion, don’t have an abortion. If you don’t believe in birth control, don’t use it. If you think women shouldn’t serve in the military because it isn’t safe, then don’t serve. You don’t have the right to take away rights or opportunities of women who have different beliefs than you.